Chronic hyperglycemia during diabetes leads to increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and increased oxidative stress (OS). Here we investigated whether changes in the metabolic state can be used as a marker of OS progression in kidneys. We examined redox states of kidneys from diabetic mice, Akita/+ and Akita/+;TSP1–/– mice (Akita mice lacking thrombospondin-1, TSP1) with increasing duration of diabetes. OS as measured by mitochondrial redox ratio (NADH/FAD) was detectable shortly after the onset of diabetes and further increased with the duration of diabetes. Thus, cryo fluorescence redox imaging was used as a quantitative marker of OS progression in kidneys from diabetic mice and demonstrated that alterations in the oxidative state of kidneys occur during the early stages of diabetes.